Friday, April 17, 2009

"Jim and Randy": The Yinzer's Morning Radio Headquarters ON WDVE, 102.5 FM



There are some things about Pittsburgh that make its' residents truly feel like they're a part of something bigger. Obviously, our sports teams are a matter of civic pride and offer that common bond. So does our pride in the beauty of Pittsburgh with its' majestic three rivers, the point and the magnificent Pittsburgh skyline. Onto that list of things that make Pittsburgh special, add the morning radio team on WDVE 102.5 FM of Jim Krenn and Randy Baughman.


Above: Jim Krenn IS morning radio in Pittsburgh with 21 years brewing the city's Joe.

These two guys are a big part of the Pittsburgh scene and their show definitely reflects their love for all things "Burgh". As an example of that Pittsburgh reverence, a year or so ago an already-failing Myron Cope with his now raspy voice, visited with the fellows by phone. You would have thought it was the Pope calling. The guys were just so in awe of Myron and the icon he had become for Pittsburghers. They respected him for the living legend that he was. They simply love all things Pittsburgh.

The "Jim and Randy" show is an eclectic mix of Pittsburgh sports, followed by more Pittsburgh sports, followed by a cut from "AC-DC" or "ZZ Top" and then a comedian thrown in for good measure. In addition to Pittsburgh radio icon Jim Krenn (21 years at WDVE) and Randy Baughman (co-host since 2001), show regulars Val Porter (celebrity sleaze) and Mike Prisuta (even more Pittsburgh sports) gives you an idea that Pittsburghers: A) Love their sports and B) Love laughing at Hollywood celebrities.

Jim and Randy also have a large number of celebrity imitations that they'll sprinkle in liberally along with some regular guests such as Frank Caliendo. This morning, for example, Caliendo was on doing his best John Madden impersonation. Along with discussing that Madden was retiring, we more importantly learned that the real reason was because Brett Favre, his favorite player, had also retired. During the interview, Jim Krenn asked "Madden" what his favorite all-time play was. Caliendo, er, Madden responded that he, "Had about 774 favorite plays and about 80% of them involved Brett Favre."


Above: Jim and Randy at last year's celebrity roast. Note Jim holding now-empty glass.


When they're not working with comedians, Jim and Randy can often be found espousing various local charities such as "Animal Friends". Jim Krenn is an ardent animal lover and I had several opportunities to cross paths with him at the Animal Friends "Bark in the Park" or for many many years at the "Worst Avid Golfer's Tournament" for the MS Service Society.



Above: Jim and Randy are at the forefront of many local charitable causes.

Each year Jim and Randy get a collection of their best comedy routines together and sell them on a CD with the proceeds going to several charities. I can verify to the everyday listeners that annually Jim Krenn had several thousand dollars donated to the MS Service Society and would participate in our tournament. It was always a thrill to see Jim and his wife Hedy at our event.

One of the funniest routines that they roll out each week during football season involves using actual taped comments made at Mike Tomlin's news conference and twisting them into unrelated responses to questions from a Walter Brennan character and Clint Eastwood. Tomlin is the "sheriff" in this old west town. In the days of Bill Cowher, the same format was used only the characters were placed in the middle ages and sounded like the Knights of the Roundtable addressing Cowher as "My Lord" or "My Leige".

As you can see, just from this brief description, these two fellows are extremely creative and it's obvious how much they love their jobs. While Jim Krenn is a native Pittsburgher, Randy Baughman originally hailed from Erie. However, after years of working in Pittsburgh, he has been thoroughly "Yinzerized" (new word) since Jim's longtime co-host Scott Paulsen decided to move on in 2001.

Jim and Randy have managed to create an entertaining format for their show that always seems to revolve around this great city and its' wonderful sports teams. For example, now that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are under way, we can look forward to a solid couple of months (hopefully) of following the exploits of Sid, Evgeni and company. During the recently-concluded NFL season, Jim and Randy took their act on the road and even broadcasted live from Tampa, this year's site of the SuperBowl. It could something as insignificant as a tiddlywinks national tournament, but if it involved a Pittsburgh team, Jim and Randy would cover it.

Above: Jim Krenn with his beloved Gizmo. Gizmo was lost a few months ago and the panicked radio host took a day off to find him. His wife found him in Banksville Park.

So as you can see, these two guys literally have become Pittsburgh itself and they're another big reason why Pittsburghers are so connected to each other. We're lucky to have them and we here at "Pittsburgh's Black and Gold" wish them continued success at WDVE! For those transplanted Pittsburghers who miss listening each day, you can hear them streaming live every day at WDVE.com.